Spinal pseudomeningoceles and cerebrospinal fluid fistulas

Full access

Spinal pseudomeningoceles and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) fistulas are rare extradural collections of CSF that result following a breach in the dural–arachnoid layer. They may occur due to an incidental durotomy, during intradural surgery, or from trauma or congenital abnormality. The majority are iatrogenic and occur in the posterior lumbar region following surgery. Although they are often asymptomatic, they may cause low-back pain, headaches, and even nerve root entrapment. Leakage of CSF from the wound may cause a fistulous tract, which is a conduit for infection and should be repaired immediately.

Diagnosis can be confirmed on clinical examination or imaging studies including magnetic resonance imaging, computerized tomography myelography, and radionuclide myelography. Treatment must be specific to each patient because the timing, size, symptoms, and location of the dural breach all affect the choice of therapy. Nonsurgical methods may be used, but more frequently operative repair is required.

In this article, the authors review the diagnosis and treatment of spinal pseudomeningoceles and CSF fistulas.

Abbreviation used in this paper:CSF = cerebrospinal fluid.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

Article Information

Address reprint requests to: Charles L. Branch, Jr., M.D., Department of Neurosurgery Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27157-1029. email: cbranch@wfubmc.edu.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.




All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 304 304 51
PDF Downloads 399 399 139
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0


Google Scholar